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Display 3-Dimensional (D3D)

Developed 1997-2001, Display 3-Dimensional (D3D) was part of the WFO-Advanced system development aimed at providing an advanced operational workstation to operational forecasters. It allows users to view model output and real-time meteorological data in a three-dimensional interactive display.

One of the values of 3D for forecasting was that it was a rapid method to assimilate a large amount of model output and analysis data, and understand how the features vary with height.

The core visualization software of D3D is Vis5D from the University of Wisconsin.

D3D was designed to look and feel like D2D the AWIPS workstation for the NWS Forecast Office.
Published articles about D3D

On 14-17 January 2002 There was joint IIPS and AWIPS symposium session at the 2002 Annual AMS Meeting in Orlando, FL to discuss the operational use of D3D in the NWS Forecast Office.

Visualization: D3D Overview and Operational Use.

D3D papers from the 19th Conference on IIPS at the AMS Annual Meeting, 9-13 February 2003, Long Beach, California. See this AMS website for links to the papers below (for those not directly available below). AMS Posters

Slides from presentations given on D3D.

D3D is NO LONGER available.
Note: D3D read netCDF data files from the NWS AWIPS database, only.
on-line documentation
D3D User's Guide (pdf) Version 4.1 to be used with D3D Version 1.1, modified 19 Sept 2001.
D3D Installation Guide (pdf)
D3D Installation README

FAQ -- D3D frequently asked questions.
A visual image show the of field deployment locations and status of D3D users.


Two D3D evaluation exercises were held.
RT99 -- Real-time and case data exercise of D3D Oct-Dec 1999
RT98 -- Real-time exercise of D3D Jul-Aug 1998
sample visualizaions
Animated GIF:

Animated MPEG:
  • Colorado RAMS severe weather forecast over Colorado 23 July 1997. (~.6 MB)
  • Omaha Severe weather storm over Omaha, Nebraska 27 July 1996. (~1.4 MB)
  • Bosnia Weather over Bonsia 27 February 1997. (~1.4 MB)
  • Bosnia Fly in over Bonsia April 1996. (~1.9 MB)
  • Eta Equiv Potential Temp 320 K over USA 23 July 1997. (~.3 MB)
  • Eta Equiv Potential Temp 320 K over USA 23 July 1997 - wide angle view. (~.3 MB)

Phil McDonald
Paula McCaslin NOAA

Last updated: Wed 20 Feb 2008